This page may contain affiliate links. Learn More.
Leftover chicken recipes can help you get an easy dinner idea on the table in a snap. Roasting a whole chicken not only saves money, but can be made in to several quick meals for your family.
Check out how to cook one chicken and make three meals here. You can also use a store-bought rotisserie chicken and save even more time. I like to roast mine at home so I know exactly what’s in it. But I am a lover of saving time too. There’s no shame in either game. Do what works best for you. Heres more on how to cook a whole chicken, turkey, or duck.
Whole chickens are significantly less expensive than cut up chicken parts and especially less expensive than boneless, skinless chicken breasts. But they also have more moisture and flavor. Even if you only use the breasts, roasting it or smoking it on the bone gives a depth of flavor that you don’t get from boneless meat.
You can cook the chicken in the instant pot, stove top, oven, crock pot, air fryer or whatever you have. Then let it cool a bit, pull all of the chicken off the bone and have a big pile of wonderful meat to use in a bunch of ways. I love it. After I do that, Ii dump the bones back in a pot and fill it with water and make homemade chicken stock for the freezer. I get even more savings from the whole chicken.
One of my favorite ways to use leftover chicken is this Mini Leftover Chicken Pot Pie. You’re gonna wanna make this over and over again like we do! Or this cozy comforting chicken pot pie stew cooks right in a casserole dish in the oven.
Easy leftover chicken recipes
I have a ton of “hamburger helper” type pasta recipes on the blog for dinner in a flash. If you substitute leftover chicken for any of the meat in the recipe, you’ll end up with a gorgeous meal.
I feed picky toddlers for a living and I promise that pasta makes everything good for them. Kids love these. There are teenagers around town still talking about the pasta they ate here. I tried to put my best secrets in these for everyone else to use.
And these leftover meat quesadillas can be whipped up in minutes and everyone loves them. Crispy tortilla on the outside, tender and flavorful meat on the inside. Super easy too.
Leftover BBQ chicken recipes
There’s nothing like bbq or smoked chicken and it can be very useful leftover as well. We have a great recipe for bbq rub and sauce here. We make it by the quart and use it all year long.
Loaded BBQ Chicken Nachos Recipe, and when I say loaded, I mean just that! You can never go wrong with crisp tortilla chips, shredded BBQ chicken, tomatoes, red onion, corn, black beans, jalapeño and lots of cheese.
An easy dinner idea that is ready in a flash, especially when using leftover bbq chicken! Easy best BBQ Chicken Pasta!
Leftover chicken ideas
I love a dump in the pot soup and if you have leftover chicken, it’s a cinch. You can even use some leftover frozen chicken stock you made from the bones. But if you don’t have any, store bought is just fine too.
Cook a diced onion in a bit of olive oil until tender. Add veggies of your choice, even a bag of frozen mixed veggies is perfect! Let those cook for a bit and then add your leftover roasted chicken, some herbs, (I like it with a teaspoon of sage or a 1/2 tsp of thyme or a teaspoon of Italian seasoning like we make here. Whatever your tastes are.
Add your chicken stock until it has as much liquid as you like and bring it to a boil. Boil for a few minutes, maybe 5 and you have a magnificent soup. If you have to have pasta, throw that in too. I’m not a big fan of pasta, so I love soup without it.
What to make with leftover chicken
Leftover chicken is WONDERFUL for a quick taco meal. Dump it in a skillet with a drizzle of olive oil. You can add some cumin and chili pepper if you like. You can also cut up an onion and sweat that down until tender before you put the chicken in, but I love it with raw onion myself. Cook the chicken and spices for about 1-2 minutes until the spices are cooked and turn it off.
Heat some tortillas, whatever kind you like and heat up some beans to go in it or on the side. Cut up some toppings like tomatoes, lettuce, onions, or whatever you like. I think cooked cauliflower is good in there too. Shred up some cheese and put out some sour cream. It’s also great to squeeze a lime across there. Tacos in minutes.
Or roll up your tortillas and make this creamy chicken enchilada meal.
This delicious Chicken Salad Recipe is filled with flavors – sweet apples, tart cranberries, and pecans are mixed with a lightened up greek yogurt and mayonnaise dressing with just a hint of spice. Make a big batch today and have easy lunches at the ready all week long!
This easy recipe will show you how to make some delicious healthy chicken salad wraps with leftover chicken.
These Turkey and Chicken Cranberry Sliders are a great way to use up leftovers after Thanksgiving, but can also be made any time of the year with leftover chicken. They’re easy to make, fantastic for feeding a crowd, and the savory-sweet flavor combo is guaranteed to delight your tastebuds with each bite!
Smoked Chicken Salad with Grapes is the most delicious way to enjoy leftover chicken. So quick and easy to make, this smoky twist on classic chicken salad makes the perfect lunch or dinner.
This Slow Cooker Chicken Tortellini Soup is a great hearty soup that works for a weeknight or even a lunch, with the tortellini pasta adding a fun surprising addition!
Use a store bought rotisserie chicken or the carcass and leftover meat from a roast chicken to make this flavorful pho ga.
This Clean Eating Chicken Salad is a great way to use up leftover chicken. You only need 5-ingredients and 10 minutes to make this healthy meal.
Pepperoni Pizza Chicken Skillet, your new favorite easy Keto dinner recipe, featuring leftover chicken! Made with four ingredients ingredients in 15 minutes flat, this is a fabulous weeknight Keto, Low Carb, and Gluten Free dinner!
These Skinny Buffalo Chicken Celery Sticks are a low point Weight Watchers appetizer. They are also low-carb, keto friendly, gluten-free and quick and easy to make with leftover rotisserie chicken!
These buffalo chicken chaffles are a great way to use up leftover chicken. Try this low carb chicken recipe today.
Kids love these and for more kid-friendly chicken recipes, click here.